Who Cares



Who Cares was a com­pe­ti­tion set up to revive exist­ing hous­ing quar­ters going into decline by find­ing new ways to incor­po­rate care and wel­fare into hous­ing. Gronin­gen, Almere, Rot­ter­dam and Sittard-Geleen were the four cities that each chose a neigh­bour­hood within their bor­ders for which the par­tic­i­pants could make a design. We sent in our plan for Almere Haven, but the con­cept can be applied to any quarter.

The goal of our plan was to find a way for elderly peo­ple to live at home for as long as pos­si­ble and for peo­ple with restric­tions (care groups) to be part of our soci­ety. We put together pro­files of the elderly peo­ple and the care groups to be able to make a design that would fit their needs.

Addi­tion­ally to updat­ing the phys­i­cal envi­ron­ment, we also intro­duced a vir­tual envi­ron­ment in our plan: an ICT sys­tem called Wijk­Care. The sys­tem stim­u­lates and acti­vates the dif­fer­ent care groups, by pro­vid­ing them with ways to do more tasks by them­selves. If some­thing seems to be off, like the water in the tap keeps run­ning for too long, the sys­tem sig­nals this to the nurse. Wijk­care also makes it eas­ier for care groups to seek con­tact with fam­ily, friend or nurse. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, acti­va­tion, signaling.

After some research, we dis­cov­ered that 60% of the hous­ing stock in The Nether­lands is made up out of ter­raced hous­ing. So replac­ing them all is not fea­si­ble. We decided not to demol­ish, but to keep the ter­raced houses in Almere Haven. The houses, ini­tially designed for fam­i­lies after the sec­ond world war, needed some adap­tions made to them to make them fit­ted for a soci­ety with vari­abel ways of liv­ing, includ­ing peo­ple who need care. By mak­ing a gen­eral design for a ter­raced house in Almere, we simul­ta­ne­ously make a design which can be applied eas­ily on a big­ger scale. Our designs for adapt­ing a ter­raced house in var­i­ous ways, to serve the needs of the soci­ety now, can be applied to other sim­i­lar quar­ters as well.

The ter­raced houses can be option­ally adapted based on the needs of the future res­i­dents. An elderly per­son might want to divide his house into two sep­a­rate apart­ments. This enables the elderly to live on the ground floor of his house, while the upper level which the per­son can no longer make us of can be rented out. For peo­ple with spe­cific restric­tions, a whole block of ter­raced houses can be trans­formed into a group house with dif­fer­ent stu­dios. Fam­i­lies do not nec­es­sar­ily have to make adap­tion to a house, but they can choose to make their house more sus­tain­able which will save them money in the long run. Elderly peo­ple can for that mat­ter, also decide to make their house more sus­tain­able as well as the hous­ing cor­po­ra­tions and care corporations.


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